Ontario is one step closer to building the innovation supercorridor by delivering two-way, all-day GO train service between Toronto and Waterloo Region. Through its agency Metrolinx, the regional transportation authority for the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area, the province has secured an agreement-in-principle with CN that will allow GO Regional Express Rail to be built along the Kitchener GO corridor.
The agreement-in-principle also begins the planning and technical analysis to build a new freight corridor that will allow CN to shift most of its freight traffic from the section of the Kitchener corridor the company owns — roughly between Georgetown and Bramalea — to the new corridor. That will free up capacity for more GO service through Brampton to Kitchener.
To build a modern and integrated transit network in the region and seamlessly connect communities and businesses, Premier Kathleen Wynne also announced today that Ontario is committing up to $43 million to help fund the Region of Waterloo’s proposed transit hub in downtown Kitchener. This hub will make it easier for transit users to connect to GO rail and bus service, the light rail transit line being built in Waterloo Region, VIA Rail services, and local and inter-city bus services.
To improve connectivity in the short term, starting in September GO will extend two morning and two afternoon peak train trips that currently run between Georgetown and Union Station to also serve Kitchener, Guelph and Acton. This will double the number of weekday train trips between Kitchener and Toronto. Also in September, GO will introduce a new express bus service running all day between Kitchener and the Bramalea GO Station in Brampton — with the service timed to connect with GO rail and bus services to and from Union Station in Toronto.
Ontario is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in the province’s history — about $160 billion over 12 years. This is supporting 110,000 jobs every year across the province, with projects such as roads, bridges, transit systems, schools and hospitals. Investments in Kitchener-Waterloo’s transit future are essential to attracting new investors to Ontario’s tech and innovation sectors, supporting the growth of existing businesses, and improving productivity and competitiveness.
Investing in priority transit infrastructure is part of the government’s economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in talent and skills, including helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history and investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.
The agreement-in-principle between Metrolinx and CN will allow for continued planning and design on improvements to the Kitchener GO corridor to support more GO train service in the future and deliver GO Regional Express Rail along this line.
The province will be seeking support from the Government of Canada to construct the new rail corridor and enable transformational changes in shifting freight rail operations to allow for increased transit choices.
Under the GO Regional Express Rail initiative, Metrolinx is transforming the GO rail network, including the Kitchener GO corridor, to provide faster and more frequent GO train service across the region, with electrification of core segments of the network. Weekly trips across the entire GO rail network are expected to grow from about 1,500 to nearly 6,000 over 10 years.
Since 2003, Ontario has extended GO’s rail network by nearly 90 kilometres, opened 14 new GO stations, rebuilt four existing stations, and added more than 31,000 new parking spots across the system.
Ontario is investing $31.5 billion over 10 years in transit, roads, bridges and highways.